Hello chowhounders! I have read several Maui threads from the past 4 years and also scanned some other recs from a moms' message board I frequent and would love feedback from more current experts.
First, some background. DH and I have 2 kids who will be 4 and 7 when we go to Maui in August 2013 (yes, I'm a Type A planner who likes to research early). I recognize things may change between now and then, but I'm excited to return to Maui. DH and I went to Maui 7 years ago before our eldest was born and we loved Hali'imaile General Store. Everything else was ok (Waterfront, Mama's, a plate lunch place in Kihei whose name I've forgotten but was next door to the condo we rented, ribs from Azeka's, which I think has since closed). We also did a wild goose chase hunting down malasadas as many places were closed during that December trip and ultimately found them at a tiny drive-in place tucked in some out-of-the-way area.
This time around, we have our girls, but I'm hoping if we do an early dinner (say right at opening) we can get away with bringing them to the fancier places. Plus, since lots of Maui tourists bring kids, I'm hoping I'll feel more comfortable with having them there than in a typical high-end restaurant near our home. The girls are well-behaved and eat a wide variety of foods (other than the younger one's peanut allergy). We don't need a kids' menu as they eat fish, too.
We're from SF so we have plenty of good ethnic food here so I'd prefer to focus on what Maui does best: local seafood, Asian fusion, and the classic plate lunch. Spam musubi always tastes better in Hawaii!
This is a short trip, so we have only 4 dinners, 4 breakfasts, and 4 lunches. I imagine we will want to eat in our condo at some meals, since eating out at every meal is a bit rich. We're staying in Wailea this time, so hopefully a nicer experience than the budget condo in Kihei was. We will have a rental car and we don't mind driving for good food.
So here's my list of potential prospects.
- Plantation House (maybe breakfast or lunch instead of dinner because of my kids)
- Pacific 'O (can't tell if this is kid-friendly at all--maybe not?)
Other slightly expensive options that seem very kid-friendly from website research:
- Nick's Fish Market (the keiki menu link goes to the adult menu but the fact that the have one means kids won't be as uncomfortable)
- Haili'Maile General Store (we LOVED this last trip and I see a kids' menu, too)
- Monkeypod Kitchen
- either Gazebo or Kihei Caffe for breakfast. Latter will be closer to us, but Gazebo has had many rave reviews here for their mac nut pancakes and fried rice.
- Tasty Crust instead of Aloha Mix Plate. Some have panned Aloha Mix Plate, but others rave so I have both on the list still.
- Sam Sato's
- Da Kitchen (maybe on the way from the airport since we arrive around noon Hawaiian time and will only have had bad airline food)
- Star Noodle for the garlic noodles (my girls love noodles)
- Paia Fish Market (on the way to/from airport?)
- Ululani's Shave Ice (we missed this on our last trip and I only faintly recall Matsumoto's from North Shore 15+ years ago)
- Malasadas from Komoda (someone here panned Homemaid Bakery--any other recs?)
- Not sure yet if we want to use a meal on fish tacos, but Jawz and Coconut's Fish Tacos have received some recs
Produce to buy for snacking at our condo: avocados, apple bananas, fresh lychee, pink dragon fruit, mangoes, guavas, local oranges, Maui Gold pineapples (not sure if it's worth going to a farmer's market or just buying from closest roadside stand?)
Any and all recs are greatly appreciated! I haven't decided the order of the meals or time of day (e.g., breakfast/lunch/dinner) but I'm going to let the food dictate our schedule and find activities nearby once we figure out the restaurant itinerary.
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